8 Comments Add yours

  1. John Cooper says:

    That note is enough to make you tear up.

    My father, who had many shortcomings, read patiently to me when I was a toddler, always letting me see the text so I could follow along. The result was that I was reading at a second-grade level by the time I entered kindergarten. I’ve always considered that the greatest gift I got from my parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Yes. My mother read to me, which put me on the road to reading on my own. I am looking forward to reading for myself in a couple of weeks. Pale Fire is on my shelf. Sadly, I don’t have much time to read new material with my teaching schedule.


  2. Bill M says:

    If only all parents would do the same as the student.

    Even though my Grandmother read often to my sister and I during our childhood I did not truly enjoy reading (except outdoors magazines and electronics articles and book) until my first semester at college. I still get bogged down reading too much scientific and technical things, however I do get at least one other work of writing (fiction, novel, classic, etc) read at least every few months. My goal is one a month or more. I spend my time hiking, working on electronics of all kinds, and Typewriters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Different kinds of books have different virtues. I tell my students that I don’t care what they read in the future, I just care that they develop the habit of reading long works (by which I mean anything longer than social media posts or click-bait articles). The point is to exercise concentration and memory. Otherwise we are doomed.

      I read as a child. I didn’t read in high school. As Motley Crue says, “Girls girls girls.” I returned to books in my early twenties. I don’t think any of us understood its importance until the dawn of reality TV, social media, and daily disinformation.


  3. Steve I says:

    I miss the English teachers who cared or were lucky enough to have the time to care about what they were sharing with us.
    I hope that there are still some of them left and the powers that be will give them their due and treat them as important as they are.
    The english/lit teachers give the foundations to build with, for whatever other course the student takes.
    They nurture the paradigms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      “They nurture the paradigms” — nice expression! Yeah, some people become teachers because that’s their calling. Other people become teachers because they aren’t sure what they want. Some become burnouts because the system has stretched them too thin. Others find renewed energy in new students.

      I think English teachers have to maintain some connection to pop culture so that they can reach new generations. Teachers should be as curious about the present as students should be about the past. That helps, I think.


  4. cloudytype says:

    Have you read The Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts? It’s one I came across through a post by Richard Polt a while back. It goes into great depth on the benefits of deep reading. It’s one of those books that made me feel “ah, I’m not alone, someone else thinks like me too,” but articulates the ideas better than I would ever be able to. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Another of his books, Changing the Subject, Art and Attention in the Internet Age is also really worth a read.
    A lovely post. It made me feel like there is still hope for real reading. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I forgot about those. I might have added them to my Amazon list after you or Richard posted about them. Thanks for the reminder. That would be good summer reading. Perhaps excerpts would be suitable for my students.

      Liked by 1 person

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